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Greg Goodwiller

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About Greg Goodwiller

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    Professional Registered Parliamentarian
  • Birthday 10/29/1960

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    Oxford, MS

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  1. That would be a matter of what your own rules dictate. Nothing in Robert's Rules either requires or prohibits the requirement of completing an application for an office.
  2. Sorry, but no. It is only available in its various printed versions, or electronically on a CD. The homepage of this site will guide you to where you can purchase the latter, if you are interested, or it is also available on the website of the National Association of Parliamentarians (www.parliamentarians.org).
  3. I think the answer to this question lies in the governing document that creates this committee which is composed of both voting and non-voting "members." If the organization's rule is that the individual in question is in fact a member with all rights except the right to vote, then I stand by my answer, which is that RONR says members have the right to be present at all meetings.
  4. "A member of an assembly, in the parliamentary sense, as mentioned above, is a person entitled to full participation in its proceedings, that is, as explained in 3 and 4, the right to attend meetings, to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote. No member can be individually deprived of these basic rights of membership—or of any basic rights concomitant to them, such as the right to make nominations or to give previous notice of a motion—except through disciplinary proceedings. Some organized societies define additional classes of "membership" that do not entail all of these rights. Whenever the term member is used in this book, it refers to full participating membership in the assembly unless otherwise specified. Such members are also described as "voting members" when it is necessary to make a distinction" RONR pg. 10, ll. 1-14.
  5. I think you will find that members of this forum prefer to stick with what RONR says, which in this case is that it is one of the formalities that is not necessary in a smaller group in order to accomplish its business. It is certainly true that the smaller an assembly, the greater each member's percentage of the total membership. But the reason the rules are relaxed is so that process doesn't hinder progress.
  6. Well, it's not a matter what anyone has "heard." RONR has a section titled "Procedure in Small Boards" (it begins on page 487, l. 26). The section contains modifications for a "board meeting where there are not more than about a dozen members present," at which - therefore - "some of the formality that is necessary in a large assembly would hinder business." One of those modifications is: "Motions need not be seconded" (RONR pg. 488, l. 1). I would also encourage you to look a what RONR has to say about seconds in general, especially on page 36, beginning at line 26, which says "the requirement of a second is for the chair's guidance as to whether or not he should state the question on the motion thus placing it before the assembly. Its purpose is to prevent time from being consumed by the assembly's having to dispose of a motion that only one person wants to see introduced."
  7. While I certainly agree that a complete parliamentary authority is good and preferable, the reality is that many organizations do - or at least used to do - precisely this. The Presbyterian Church adopted its own little set of rules and used them for about 150 years until RONR was adopted. They were published as an appendix at the back of the constitution, and as rules of order, they could be suspended if the court so determined.
  8. Ok. So "Appendix A" is your parliamentary authority. And is that where the statement you quoted about not divulging what happens at meetings comes from? Unfortunately, we are a Robert's Rules of Order forum, so interpreting another authority is not what we do here'; however, if that is what your authority says (rather than your bylaws themselves), then you should be able to suspend the rules and do otherwise.
  9. I'm not sure what you are quoting, but it isn't Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th Edition, which is the current edition of Robert's Rules, or RONR. The only time such a rule applies is when an assembly votes to go into "executive session," which is defined as follows: An executive session in general parliamentary usage has come to mean any meeting of a deliberative assembly, or a portion of a meeting, at which the proceedings are secret. This term originally referred to the consideration of executive business—that is, presidential nominations to appointive offices, and treaties—behind closed doors in the United States Senate. The practice of organizations operating under the lodge system is equivalent to holding all regular meetings in executive session. In any society, certain matters relating to discipline (61, 63), such as trials, must be handled only in executive session. A meeting enters into executive session only when required by rule or established custom, or upon the adoption of a motion to do so. A motion to go into executive session is a question of privilege (19), and therefore is adopted by a majority vote (RONR pg. 95, ll. 16-30). And even when this is done, an assembly has the right to invite anyone it so chooses to remain in the meeting, with the understanding that they are likewise bound to secrecy. But RONR has no such rule as required general practice - which does not prohibit any association from adopting such a rule, if it so chooses. Some RONR organizations are private, others are public. That is a matter for the organization to decide, not for its parliamentary authority to dictate.
  10. I would also note that if the bylaws simply state that a matter requires a vote of two-thirds, how many members you have is not important, so long as a quorum is present at the meeting. If only three members at a meeting at which a quorum is present vote, and two of them vote in favor (and one against), then that is also a valid two-thirds vote and the matter is adopted. The Robert's Rules standard is a vote of those "present and voting." But if your bylaws "a two-thirds vote of the total membership," that is another matter.
  11. I am on the team that is drafting a revision to the disciplinary rules in the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (which is a RONR organization). Our rules are more complex than RONR's, but I have repeatedly taken the team to RONR regarding things like standard of guilt ("morally convinced" - pg. 668, ln. 17), and also this one on hearsay evidence, which we have always allowed (to the chagrin of attorneys in the room representing those accused and sitting on our courts) but without any justification of why. The team was about to stop allowing hearsay until I read them this passage. Some if its language is now in our draft. It comes up most often in cases of allegations of clergy sexual misconduct, when the alleged victims don't want to show up at trials and face either the accused or the public, and while members of the denomination, at least, are "required" to be present if cited, there is really no recourse if they don't, since they are almost always under the jurisdiction of a different council of the church. So in an ordinary society, I absolutely concur with allowing hearsay, when necessary, and allowing those who must decide the matter to give such evidence the attention and weight it deserves.
  12. Dissolution language is typically included at the end of the the bylaws. Regarding content and process, RONR states: "If a society is incorporated, the laws of the state in which it is incorporated provide in some detail the legal requirements for the dissolution of the corporation. An attorney should be consulted to draw up the necessary papers and advise the society as to the procedure to be followed" (RONR pp. 563, l.34 - 564, l. 4).
  13. And although the phrase is (for Robert's Rules) unusually vague by not giving a definitive answer for how many, Mr. Huynh's words are actually quoted directly from RONR. The full quote is, "In a board meeting where there are not more than about a dozen members present, some of the formality that is necessary in a large assembly would hinder business" (RONR pg. 487, ll. 26-29). Then follow a list of rules that are relaxed in those groups. So there is room for a board to make its own determination about how it wants to proceed.
  14. Whenever possible, I now do my advising electronically. I have a computer in front of me and the presiding officer has an iPad. In an electronic meeting environment, I can send over motion scripts, messages (in big bold red type when necessary), or anything else I want to communicate.
  15. Sorry if I inadvertently stirred something up. Regarding "advanced notice," I certainly meant "previous notice." I was just writing with the awareness that the original post was by someone who is not familiar with our terminology, and was trying to say it in a way she might better understand it. Apologies.
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